Birders You Might Know

“A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.”

Chinese Proverb
Baby Tree Swallows in a bird house

To many people, birding or bird-watching is a tame, almost mundane pastime. But once you take the time to appreciate birds wherever you live, it’s hard not to agree with travel writer Grant Hutchinson:

“There is an unreasonable joy to be had from the observation of small birds going about their bright, oblivious business”

Grant Hutchinson

According to the website 10000birds.com, there are eighteen million active birders worldwide. There are thousands of clubs and societies in scores of different countries. It’s estimated that one in five Americans identify as a birdwatcher.

“Bird watching is now North America’s second most popular outdoor activity (second only to gardening).”

Bernd Brunner: German writer of non-fiction books and essays

As a birder, you have a lot in common with a great many people whose words you may have read, or read about in history class or seen on television or in the movies. These are just a few celebrities who have appeared on multiple lists of famous birders:

U.S. Presidents

“I think we consider too much the good luck of the early bird and not enough the bad luck of the early worm.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt—Twenty-Sixth President of the United States

Franklin Delano Roosevelt—Thirty-Second President of the United States

Jimmy Carter—Thirty-Ninth President of the United States

Geniuses

Albert EinsteinNobel Prize winning physicist, most famous for his theory of relativity  

James Watson—Molecular biologist who was co-discoverer of DNA structure

Entertainers

“Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?”

David Attenborough

Wes Craven—Director of three dozen horror films including Nightmare on Elm Street

Steve Martin—Writer and actor in dozens of movies and television shows including Saturday Night Live and THE BIG YEAR

David Attenborough—Screenwriter known for PLANET EARTH and 42 other films

Cameron Diaz—Actress THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY and nearly five dozen roles

Darryl Hannah—Actress in SPLASH and more than ninety other titles

Authors

George Plimpton—Author of Paper Lion and more than two dozen books

Ian Fleming—Creator of the James Bond series novels and films

Agatha Christie—Author of Murder on the Orient Express and more than fifty other novels

E.B. White—Writer whose many works include Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web

Margaret Atwood—Author of A Handmaid’s Tale and other novels, poetry, children’s books, short fiction and non-fiction

Grant Hutchison—Author of The Complete Lachlan and other books

Musicians

Paul McCartney—Singer/songwriter with The Beatles and Wings

Mick Jagger—Lead vocalist of The Rolling Stones

Van Morrison—Singer with the group Them known for songs like “Brown-Eyed Girl” and “Gloria”

Others

“Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn’t people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them?”

Rose F. Kennedy
Male Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) in flight

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (and spouse of Queen Elizabeth II)

Laura Bush, former First Lady of the United States

Stephen Breyer, United States Supreme Court Justice

Meriwether Lewis, explorer (Lewis and Clarke)

“The construction of an airplane is simple compared with the evolutionary achievement of a bird. If I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes.”

Charles Lindbergh

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